Thursday, February 14, 2008

Immorality, Wyeth and the FDA

Have you ever heard of BHRT? Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Bio-identical Hormones are made by compounding pharmacies, bypassing the drug companies, and therefore affecting their profits. Many women and their physicians find that bio-identical hormones are much more effective with less unpleasant side affects.

Wyeth, a major drug company, manufacturers Premarin and Prempro, both hormone replacements. Premarin and Prempro are both made from Pregnant Mare's Urine. Pre-Mar-In (get it?). Since it is an animal and not a human hormone, Premarin isn't utilized well by the human body, and people who are allergic to animals really have a problem with it.

The Women's Health Initiative, a clinical trial for Hormone Replacement Therapy showed that long-term use of progestin and estrogen may increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, and breast cancer. Following these results, Wyeth experienced a significant decline in its sales of Premarin, Prempro. This was in about 2002.

Two years ago, Wyeth lobbied the FDA to regulate the production of BHRT. 40,000 individuals wrote to complain about Wyeth's action. The FDA didn't move immediately, saying that the issue was too complex.

Last month, January 2008, the FDA came out with a statement saying that it will “halt” compounding of medications containing estriol, an estrogen produced by the human body. Estriol is one of the most widely prescribed hormones and is regularly compounded with other bio-identical hormones pursuant to doctors’ prescriptions for women suffering from symptoms of menopause.

I smell a rat. I think Wyeth has had an attack on their bottom line and are trying to force women to have to use their less effective products, Premarin and Prempro.

So far, I am not on HRT.. and I will NEVER take Premarin or Prempro... not only do I object to Wyeth's actions, there's a familial tendency to have bad reactions to animal products.

I don't object to Wyeth making a profit, drug companies need profits to fund new drug research, which is very costly. But I do object to the immorality of Wyeth's and the FDA's actions to prevent women access to something that WORKS.

So count me as one who is boycotting Wyeth products when possible. I will no longer buy Advil, Advil PM, Robitussin, Dimetapp, Alavert, Caltrate, Centrum, ChapStick, Dristan, or Preparation H. There are many other alternatives or generic versions of these items available.

Mad as I am about this (or madder?) please follow the link and write or call your congressional representative.

Interested in learning more about this issue? Here are some links to follow:

Facts Don't Fit

Fight brews over natural versus synthetic hormones

Compounding Facts

FDA Asserts New Policy to Restrict Women’s Access to Bioidentical Hormones

Organizations supporting Wyeth..and how Wyeth is supporting the organization (can you say collusion?)

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